Edible Displays: Bean Feast

Pack a group of beans into your plot with bushy dwarf cultivars that are suited to pots and vigorous climbing types trained neatly up stakes.

Runner Beans Make Edible Summer Display

Runner Beans Make Edible Summer Display

Here, the scarlet flowers and long runner beans of ‘Enorma’ make a bold backdrop alongside mottled pink borlotti beans. The dwarf green bean ‘Pencil Pod Black Wax’ produces slender pods after the mauve flowers, while the compact runner bean ‘Hestia,’ nasturtiums (Tropaeolum), marigolds and lobelia offer more color.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Here, the scarlet flowers and long runner beans of ‘Enorma’ make a bold backdrop alongside mottled pink borlotti beans. The dwarf green bean ‘Pencil Pod Black Wax’ produces slender pods after the mauve flowers, while the compact runner bean ‘Hestia,’ nasturtiums (Tropaeolum), marigolds and lobelia offer more color.

Step 1: Choose Containers

Select containers that are at least 18 inches in diameter for beans and pots that are at least six inches in diameter for flowers. These containers should suit corners of patios and terraces. Use multipurpose or soil-based compost, and ensure the plants receive full sun and are sheltered from wind.

Step 2: Go Shopping

Buy the following plants: five runner bean ‘Enorma’, four dwarf green bean ‘Pencil Pod Black Wax’, three runner bean ‘Hestia’, five borlotti bean ‘Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco’, two nasturtium (Tropaeolum) ‘Peach Melba Superior’ and three French marigolds (Tagetes). 

Step 3: Plant Beans

Sow beans indoors from early to mid- spring, in their final positions in late spring, or buy young plants. Acclimatize plants to outdoor conditions before planting. Check containers have drainage holes and fill with compost up to two inches below the rim. Erect stakes for climbing beans and plant at the base of each stake. Allow about eight inches between dwarf beans and add supports to prop them up when laden with beans. Water well and tie-in climbing beans. Water consistently and feed weekly with a tomato fertilizer when flowers appear.

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